The sad story of Bumpy.

by Cath

Bumpy aged 5 days

Bumpy aged 5 days

Bumpy aged 5 days Bumpy's growth looked horrid but caused her no pain Bumpy just before she disappeared.  Her feathers had the most gorgeous sheen. The inseparable pair - Bumpy and Bruno.

I know you shouldn't have favourites, but I hold my hands up - Bumpy was a favourite of mine. I think you do have favourites when it comes to chicks you've hatched yourself.

Bumpy hatched on 1 May 2013. She was supposed to be a Speckled Sussex and she came out of a cream coloured egg - and she turned out to be a Black Copper Marans. She was - as chicks are - a cute, fluffy bundle of black and yellow.

She was called Bumpy because when she was about a day old, I noticed she had quite a large growth on her neck. It was so big that it was nearly as big as she was. I took some advice from people who know what they're talking about and none of them could tell me what it was.

Some said I should have her 'put to sleep', some said leave it alone. In the end I decided to leave her alone. She was chirpy and happy and the bump seemed to worry me a lot less than it worried her.

As she grew up, Bumpy became inseparable friends with the other Black Copper Marans I hatched. They went everywhere together and when one was out of sight of the other, they would cheep loudly until the other came back into view again.

And then one day in July, when Bumpy was just eleven weeks old, she disappeared. Just disappeared off the face of the earth. There were no tell-tail feathers, no bones, nothing. She just wasn't there any more.

The chicks had gone into the Big Girls' Coop just that week. They'd all settled down remarkably well but there was some bullying as they sorted the pecking order out. The only thing I can think of is that Bumpy flew (she had beautiful flight feathers by then) over the six foot high fence into the jaws of a fox.

We certainly have foxes. Bumpy could certainly fly, although I'm not convinced she could fly that high - but you never know. It's not an ideal explanation though, because she was the most timid of the chicks so why she would choose to fly outside the coop, I have no idea.

So now her little Marans companion Bruna (or it might be Bruno - I'm still not sure whether she might be a he) stands at the gate to the coop and cheeps. It's the saddest sound I've ever heard in my life.

I know people say "Get a grip - it's only a chicken". And I know that given the problems some people are facing in their lives it's not the greatest heartache in the world.

But Bumpy was my favourite. I miss her.

Comments for The sad story of Bumpy.

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May 26, 2014
Thank you, Promise, for your kind thoughts about little Bumpy chicken.
by: Cath

Promise, thank you so much for your very kind words. You are generous to take the time to write. I'm sad about Bumpy even now, but she did teach me some good lessons about protecting my chicks in the future. I like to think that is her legacy.

I'm very sad to hear about your chickens and also your duckling. It's heart-breaking to raise little ones, only to have them eaten by predators.

I wish you and your chickens every success in the future.

Kindest regards


May 23, 2014
So Sorry!
by: Promise

That's so sad! Im so sorry for you and Bruna/Bruno. I've had many chickens taken by foxes. It's sad every time, even for the chickens I'm not as close to. I had a duck that I raised from a duckling (because her pop killed her siblings) who was so sweet, but a fox came and ate her while I was gone. đŸ˜¢

Mar 13, 2014
Bumpy - the chicken who taught me a lesson.
by: Cath.

Thank you for such concern, Karen. It might well have been a bird of prey - we have buzzards and eagles round here - but actually it turned out to be a fox.

It came back the following day and took some of my other chickens too. :( I discovered it had got in by digging underneath a strong fence which was buried 18" underground.

So, I tried to use this as a lesson. The fox had been able to dig a long way under the fence, so we have now had a stronger fence put in which is 3 feet underground, and also has an 'L' shaped apron at the bottom. So anything trying to dig is going to be disappointed.

We have also bought a Maremma puppy. Maremmas are used in Italy as guardian dogs of sheep, goats and chickens. They look lovely but they will fight to the death, if necessary, to defend their flock.

So, Bumpy taught me a lot of lessons which have helped me to protect my chicken family better, and for that I'm very grateful.

I'm so sorry to hear about your losses to hawks. Sadly, chickens are seen as dinner by a lot of different predators.

Thank you again for sharing your concern and your lovely comment.

Mar 12, 2014
Poor Bumpy
by: Karen

Is it possible a hawk or owl carried her off? That can happen if the pen isn't covered. I had one young chicken maimed and even grown chickens killed by hawks. A young chicken who isn't very heavy could have been carried by a large raptor without even leaving a feather behind. Poor sweet Bumpy. Thankfully her short life was a happy one.

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